Sunday, 19 Nov 2017
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Co Loa – the oldest citadel in Vietnam
Updated at Thursday, 26 Oct 2017, 11:31
Co Loa was built near Phong Khe, about 16 kilometers to the north of Hanoi city center. According to folklore, An Duong Vuong defeated the last of the Hung Kings in 257 BCE and founded the kingdom of Au Lac, choosing the site of Co Loa as his capital.
The name “Co Loa” is meaning "old spiral", reflecting its multi-layered structure of earthworks, moats, and ditches. Co Loa citadel was covered a large area of more than five square km and is originally constructed with the walls arranged in a spiral shape that consists of nine coils.
Then in 208 BCE, this citadel was taken by a Chinese invasion but in 939 CE the site was re-occupied by Ngo Quyen and was picked to be the capital of the country again
Nowadays, there are currently only three walls left in this area. The walls’ height is 4-5 meter on average, somewhere is up to 12 meters high, while the wall base is 20 ~ 30 meters wide.
Visitors can see these wall, a communal house, and temples which are located in the center of the former citadel, that is used to dedicate to King An Duong Vuong (257 – 208 BCE) and his daughter My Chau.
When the archaeologists excavated this area in 1968, 1978 and 1997, a multitude of artifacts was discovered, consisting of Co Loa bronze drum, bronze coin, bronze axes, thousands of bronze arrows, plows, objects made of ceramic, terracotta, etc.
Annually, the communal house and temples usually celebrate the Co Loa festival for the Lunar New Year occasion. Co Loa Citadel Festival is held from 6th to 16th day of the first lunar month in the year. The festival takes place at Upper Temple ("Den Thuong"), Dong Anh District, Hanoi, which is the place to worship King An Duong Vuong. The main festival day is the 6th day and begins with a solemn procession of 12 villages in the area. It’s time to honor the contribution of King An Duong Vuong to the cause of national construction and defense. All citizens of 12 villages, as well as tourists from all regions in the country, burn incense to remember King An Duong Vuong and pray for prosperity and peace.
After the part of liturgy, the festival continues with various traditional games and activities such as “danh du” (bamboo swings), “nem con” (game of throwing a sacred ball through the ring), rice cooking competition, “ca tru” singing, “quan ho” singing, “cheo” performance and Especially is wrestling and crossbow shooting activites.
Nowadays, Co Loa Citadel has been a cultural heritage. It also becomes the ideal destination for tourists all over the world who want to discover the cultural values, the familiar landscape of a peaceful northern village. 

 
Co Loa was built near Phong Khe, about 16 kilometers to the north of Hanoi city center.
Co Loa was built near Phong Khe, about 16 kilometers to the north of Hanoi city center.
According to folklore, An Duong Vuong defeated the last of the Hung Kings in 257 BCE and founded the kingdom of Au Lac, choosing the site of Co Loa as his capital.
According to folklore, An Duong Vuong defeated the last of the Hung Kings in 257 BCE and founded the kingdom of Au Lac, choosing the site of Co Loa as his capital.
The name “Co Loa” is meaning "old spiral", reflecting its multi-layered structure of earthworks, moats, and ditches.
The name “Co Loa” is meaning "old spiral", reflecting its multi-layered structure of earthworks, moats, and ditches.
Co Loa citadel was covered a large area of more than five square km and is originally constructed with the walls arranged in a spiral shape that consists of nine coils.
Co Loa citadel was covered a large area of more than five square km and is originally constructed with the walls arranged in a spiral shape that consists of nine coils.
Then in 208 BCE, this citadel was taken by a Chinese invasion but in 939 CE the site was re-occupied by Ngo Quyen and was picked to be the capital of the country again.
Then in 208 BCE, this citadel was taken by a Chinese invasion but in 939 CE the site was re-occupied by Ngo Quyen and was picked to be the capital of the country again.
Nowadays, there are currently only three walls left in this area. The walls’ height is 4-5 meter on average, somewhere is up to 12 meters high, while the wall base is 20 ~ 30 meters wide.
Nowadays, there are currently only three walls left in this area. The walls’ height is 4-5 meter on average, somewhere is up to 12 meters high, while the wall base is 20 ~ 30 meters wide.
Visitors can see these wall, a communal house, and temples which are located in the center of the former citadel, that is used to dedicate to King An Duong Vuong (257 – 208 BCE) and his daughter My Chau.
Visitors can see these wall, a communal house, and temples which are located in the center of the former citadel, that is used to dedicate to King An Duong Vuong (257 – 208 BCE) and his daughter My Chau.
When the archaeologists excavated this area in 1968, 1978 and 1997, a multitude of artifacts was discovered, consisting of Co Loa bronze drum, bronze coin, bronze axes, thousands of bronze arrows, plows, objects made of ceramic, terracotta, etc.
When the archaeologists excavated this area in 1968, 1978 and 1997, a multitude of artifacts was discovered, consisting of Co Loa bronze drum, bronze coin, bronze axes, thousands of bronze arrows, plows, objects made of ceramic, terracotta, etc.
Annually, the communal house and temples usually celebrate the Co Loa festival for the Lunar New Year occasion. Co Loa Citadel Festival is held from 6th to 16th day of the first lunar month in the year.
Annually, the communal house and temples usually celebrate the Co Loa festival for the Lunar New Year occasion. Co Loa Citadel Festival is held from 6th to 16th day of the first lunar month in the year.
The festival takes place at Upper Temple ("Den Thuong"), Dong Anh District, Hanoi, which is the place to worship King An Duong Vuong.
The festival takes place at Upper Temple ("Den Thuong"), Dong Anh District, Hanoi, which is the place to worship King An Duong Vuong.
The main festival day is the 6th day and begins with a solemn procession of 12 villages in the area. It’s time to honor the contribution of King An Duong Vuong to the cause of national construction and defense.
The main festival day is the 6th day and begins with a solemn procession of 12 villages in the area. It’s time to honor the contribution of King An Duong Vuong to the cause of national construction and defense.

 
Quynh Anh
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